|Turning customers into advocates
Traditional measures of customer satisfaction have little to do with financial performance. According to research 80% of customers who switch suppliers express satisfaction with their previous supplier. Revenue growth has everything to do with advocacy, the extent to which customers prefer a supplier and refer others to it.
The principles of customer advocacy hold true whatever the nature of your industry and customer base. The fact is that delighted customers have an affiliation for the brand that translates into bottom line growth. So how do you create a level of customer satisfaction that is so strong that customers become your best sales people? The answer lies in creating a customer experience that is so distinctive and valuable that it goes beyond satisfaction – and beyond loyalty.
Customer advocacy requires you to know who your most profitable customers are and to consistently deliver a customer experience so as to create a high degree of trust in your brand. Only then will these loyal and highly profitable customers be prepared to recommend your organisation to others. In his HBR article ‘The one number you need to grow’ Frederick Reichheld argues that the only measure of performance that really matters is the ‘Net-Promoter Index’. This is the result of subtracting those customers who are dissatisfied from those who are highly satisfied. Our term for this is the ‘Advocacy Index’ and our customer experience management survey measures this to determine the extent to which your firm will grow organically through attracting and retaining profitable customers through word-of-mouth.
By focusing on delighting highly profitable customers, companies keep them loyal and eventually turn them into advocates who attract others who value the same things.